4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water (120 degree F to 130 degree F)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semolina or cornmeal
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add the water, sugar, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Onion Bagels: Prepare as above, except stir 2 tablespoons dried minced onion into the flour along with the yeast.
Raisin Bagels: Prepare as above, except add 3/4 cup raisins with the all-purpose flour that is stirred in at the end of step 1.
Whole Wheat Bagels: Prepare as above, except substitute 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour for 1-1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour that is stirred in at the end of step 1.
Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Divide dough into 12 portions and shape into smooth balls. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
Working quickly, punch a hole in the center of each ball. Pull center of dough gently and evenly to make a 2-inch hole. Place on lightly greased baking sheet; cover and let rise 20 minutes (start timing after the first bagel is shaped).
While bagels are still rising, in a 12-inch skillet bring 6 cups of water to boiling. Preheat broiler.
Broil bagels 5 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes, turning once (tops should not brown). Turn off broiler; preheat oven to 375 degree F.
Lower 6 bagels, 1 at a time, into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 7 minutes, turning once.
Remove bagels with slotted spatula; set on paper towels. Repeat with remaining bagels.
Sprinkle clean baking sheet with semolina or cornmeal. Place bagels on baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 bagels.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and cool bagels; pack in airtight freezer container or plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze up to 2 weeks. Thaw 2 hours at room temperature before serving.